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new reloader


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I am going to buy a new reloader. I am just not sure which. From before I have experience with the Lee 1000 pro. I know this is a cheep product and that the Dillons are of much higher quality, still I kind and liked it. It has everything and it is possible to load large quantities of ammunition in short time.

I would really like to hear which reloaders or reloading equipment you guys use, what are your experiences, good and bad once? And maybe you have something to recommend?

The only limitation I have is space. I don’t have room for a Dillon 650, even though I’m sure it is an awesome machine.

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I upgraded this year from a Lee Pro-1000 (that I used to load some 60k rounds - mixed .45", .40", 9mm and .357" in the last 7 years) to a Dillon 650.

You can read my experience with the Pro-1000 doing a search on it, coupled with my nickname.

I still have it on my bench, it served me well, and will still use it for plinking reloading (.45", .357"), but for serious competition I'll use the 650.

You can also see my bench setup in the relevant gallery thread: before the 650 (early pages) and after (around page 17, IIRC).

I'd pick the 650 over my buddy's 550 all the times.

You really don't need that much space: the foot print of the press is a square of 40cm side approx, but you'll need quite room in height, since the press (bolted to the bench with the 650 specific strong mount) equipped with the brass electric dispenser is a good span taller than me (I'm 1.75m).

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Most on here would rather turn in their guns, swear allegaince to Gun Control Inc. than reload on a Lee Press.

With that said, I have been loading for four years on a Lee Loadmaster. I load 3 calibers, and have loaded almost 15K rounds on it. Has it been flawless....NO. Has it been frustrating at times....YES. Would I spend $650 on a Dillon 650...maybe someday, but not now.

Dillon makes the best press, I won't argue that. For me though, the Loadmaster has been a great press. I can load 400-500 rounds an hour, and that includes time for boxing the rounds, adding powder, changing primer trays, etc. The loadmaster works very similar to your old Pro-1000, but is a 5 station, auto-index. I can change calibers in under 5 minutes. There are several pieces that are plastic and will need replacing over time. Some I understand why (keeps primers from going boom). Some were just cost savings measures by Lee for no good reason. If you keep extra primer feeder parts(primer slider, trough, seater, spring) , case slider, slider rod, auto-disk chain, and de-cap pins, you should have everything needed to fix any problems. So for $225 for a complete press setup and another $75max in parts you have a press that will load most anything you will need. It won't be as good as a Dillon, but will cost half as much. In time you will sort out any bugs it has, and if you decide to go this route, shoot me a PM, and I will help with some tips that I have learned over the last 4 years.


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  • 11 months later...

Any updates on the Loadmaster?

I've got a friend who just got hooked on shooting and he really needs to get into reloading. He's not got alot of money so I think a Lee might be a good route for him to take.

I've used a Pro 1000 for years and think it's absolutely a fantastic little press, especially for $110 or so. Nothing can beat it for price vs. performance. But it does need another station for a factory crimp die.

I have no experience with the Loadmaster (do all my loading now on a Hornady) and don't want to steer my buddy in the wrong direction!

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